It was way beyond my wildest dreams that I thought I’d ever write a post about enjoying onions. Saying that, if you’ve read about my life changing experience last week then you’ll know anything’s possible now. Of all foods in the world, onions have without a doubt always been my enemy number one. Red onions are even worse, ultimate enemy number one. Unlike most foods, I have actually tried them and anything bigger than finely chopped is a big no-no. Raw onions make me heave and anytime I order risotto I ask the rice / onion ratio along with the approximate size of said onions. Just understand that I HATE onions.
Believe it or not I actually used to be a chef so my relationship with onions always made things a bit tricky. None more so than when I worked at a 5 Star hotel in Kensington. As part of my remit on the veg and starter section I had to make constant vats of onion soup. Luckily there was always someone around to taste it for me without the Sous chef finding out and sacking me. I haven’t worked as a chef for almost thirty years and Rach and the girls constantly mock me about my lack of cooking now.
To be fair I hardly ever cook and when I do it’s either macaroni cheese or pasta and Ragu sauce. I do love cooking though and would love to get back into it. With my eyes and mind being opened up now something extraordinary happened today. In talking to my vegetarian / vegan friends I’ve been given lots of recommendations for tasty and exciting dishes to try. The first one was the self proclaimed “Best Burger In The World.” Amongst the ingredients were cooked pearl barley, vital what gluten, meso sauce and a LARGE RED ONION. Undeterred I put everything together and after what seemed like a day of prepping they were ready to cook.
I’d spent the last 24 hours bigging them up to Rach and the girls and they were all excited to try them. Ok, that’s a lie. Rach was slightly excited, Katie said she’d try it and Jade just pulled a face when she saw all the ingredients in the bowl. I thing my big red onion was actually a supersized red onion as each burger was chock full of onion chunks. With all girls sat down looking slightly concerned I proudly served them up.
Jade and Kate took one bite, screwed their faces up and spat it straight in to the bin. Rach’s reaction wasn’t much better. “Oh baby, they’re awful. Really stretchy and all I can taste is onion.” To be fair I may have overdone it with the vital wheat gluten. In my defence the recipe was all 1 cup of this and 2 cups of that. Not exactly scientific and not how I work best.
I proudly served mine up in a wrap along with salad (a first for me) and took a big bite. I loved it. No one believed my happy face was genuine. Instead they accused me of faking my pleasure to save face. This was totally untrue, I genuinely enjoyed it and am looking forward to eating the other 4 1/2 burgers this week. What was most astonishing wasn’t the fact that I’d actually cooked something that didn’t include Ragu sauce. It was that I had eaten a burger full of red onion and couldn’t taste it. This was undeniable and undisputable proof that the days of fussy eating and veggie avoidance are gone forever.
Almost as good is that I have rediscovered my love for cooking and will now be in the kitchen all the time. One the one hand this will make Rach and the girls very happy. On the other hand, based on my “World’s Most Oniony Stretchy Burger” they’ll also be very scared.
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